Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ferruccio Busoni; Alfredo Casella; Giuseppe Martucci - Orchestral Works (Riccardo Muti)


Composer: Ferruccio Busoni; Alfredo Casella; Giuseppe Martucci
  1. Casella - Paganiniana, Op. 65: I. Allegro agitato
  2. Casella - Paganiniana, Op. 65: II. Polacchetta.  Allegretto moderato
  3. Casella - Paganiniana, Op. 65: III. Romanza. Larghetto cantabile, amoroso
  4. Casella - Paganiniana, Op. 65: IV. Tarantella. Presto molto
  5. Martucci - Notturno, Op. 70 No. 1
  6. Martucci - Novelletta, Op. 82
  7. Martucci - Giga, Op. 61 No. 3
  8. Busoni - Turandot Suite, Op. 41: I.  Die Hinrichtung, das Stadttor, der Abschied
  9. Busoni - Turandot Suite, Op. 41: II.Truffaldino (Introduzione e marcia grotesca)
  10. Busoni - Turandot Suite, Op. 41: III. Altoum. Marsch
  11. Busoni - Turandot Suite, Op. 41: V. Das Frauengemach
  12. Busoni - Turandot Suite, Op. 41: VII. Nächtlicher Walzer
  13. Busoni - Turandot Suite, Op. 41: VIII. In modo di marcia funebre e Finale alla Turca

Orchestra Filharmonia della Scala
Riccardo Muti, conductor
Date: 1993
Label: Sony Classical



Riccardo Muti takes time out here to present some of the lesser known, rarely heard orchestral scores of his fellow countrymen, and a superbly played, enjoyable concert it is too. Proceedings commence with a fine and spirited performance of Alfredo Casella's divertimento Paganiniana—not a great piece by any means but a work possessing plenty of charm and humour nevertheless; the outer movements are a bit of a romp (very opera buffa) and must have been as much fun to write as they clearly are for the La Scala Philharmonic to play. The tone and temperature rise a few degrees in Martucci's gorgeously lyrical Nocturne, Op. 70 No. 1—a sort of Mahler-meets-Puccini-meets-Respighi love song—and this is nicely contrasted with the affable if somewhat lightweight musings of his Novelletta and Giga. The high point of the disc, though, must surely be Muti's account of Busoni's Turandot Suite, Op. 41, the work that, after several tinkerings, finally ended up forming the basis of his 1917 opera. Muti opts for the first version of the suite dating from 1905—that is, the omission of the movements Verzweiflung und Ergebund and Altoums Warnung which Busoni added as appendices to the suite in 1911 and 1917 respectively. A pity, since what we have here is a fine and sensitively conducted performance that would have been greatly enhanced by their inclusion. The recording, made in the Teatro Abanella, Milan, is exceptionally clear and well focused, if at times a little dry.

-- Michael Stewart, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ****


Ferruccio Busoni (1 April 1866 – 27 July 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, conductor, editor, writer, and piano teacher. Busoni was an outstanding (if sometimes controversial) pianist from an early age. He began composing in his early years in a late romantic style, and later developed a more individual style, often with elements of atonality. Busoni's impact on music was perhaps more through those who studied piano and composition with him, and through his writings on music, than through his compositions themselves, of whose style there are no direct successors.


Alfredo Casella (25 July 1883 – 5 March 1947) was an Italian composer, pianist and conductor. He entered the Conservatoire de Paris in 1896 to study piano under Louis Diémer and composition under Gabriel Fauré. Casella developed a deep admiration for Debussy's output, but pursued a more romantic vein in his own writing of this period, rather than turning to impressionism. The resurrection of Vivaldi's works in the 20th century is mostly thanks to the efforts of Casella, who in 1939 organised the now historic Vivaldi Week.


Giuseppe Martucci (Capua, 6 January 1856 – Naples, 1 June 1909) was an Italian composer, conductor, pianist and teacher. As a composer and teacher, Martucci was influential in reviving Italian interest in non-operatic music. His music was championed by Arturo Toscanini during much of the Toscanini's career. As a conductor, Martucci made his first conducting appearance in 1881. One of the earliest Italian musicians to admire Wagner, he helped to introduce Wagner's operas to Italy and also gave important early concerts of English music there.


Riccardo Muti (born 28 July 1941) is an Italian conductor. He holds two music directorships: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini. Previously, Muti held posts at orchestras such as Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He has been a prolific recording artist and has received dozens of honors, titles, awards and prizes. Muti is particularly associated with the music of Giuseppe Verdi.


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